Now more than ever, entrepreneurs are called upon to innovate, experiment, and lead their organizations. This is no easy task in today’s competitive climate. The way business works is constantly changing and evolving. New ideas for products and services help make our lives and the lives of those around us easier. These top-requested entrepreneurs are innovators and leaders in their industries. Here are ten motivational entrepreneur speakers who are disrupting the industry.
1. Jim McKelvey
Jim McKelvey is the co-founder of Square, a financial payments company. He was chairman of its board until 2010, and still serves on the Board of Directors. In 2011, Jim became an industry pioneer when his card reader design was inducted into the Museum of Modern Art.
McKelvey also founded Invisibly, a project to rewire the economics of online content; LaunchCode, a non-profit that trains people to work in technology; and Third Degree Glass Factory, a publicly accessible glass art studio & education center in St. Louis.
2. Bill Rancic
Bill Rancic was hired as the first apprentice of NBC’s “The Apprentice” in 2004. After “The Apprentice,” Rancic was tasked with overseeing the construction of the Trump Tower Chicago. He continues to work in Chicago real estate.
In 2008, Rancic started a television production company, You and I Productions, which produces reality and scripted programming for television. In 2009, he starred alongside his wife in their own reality-television show “Giuliana and Bill.” In 2010, Rancic started hosting a news program called “America Now,” which is broadcast across the United States on stations owned by Raycom Media.
Today, Rancic speaks to audiences around the country on “How to Use Challenging Times to Your Advantage,” “How to Think Like an Entrepreneur in Corporate America,” and “How to Succeed at Business And Life.”
3. Daymond John
John’s success started with his lifestyle brand, FUBU, which has had more than $6 billion in global retail sales. He started a global movement from the basement of his mother’s house by capitalizing on the then-emerging hip-hop culture. FUBU was a key player in launching the now booming streetwear market, which is a $20 billion industry.
As an investor on “Shark Tank”, John gives entrepreneurs a chance to pitch him their business ideas. John created The Shark Group, a consulting company that helps brands all over the world grow.
4. Ray Kurzweil
Ray Kurzweil is a pioneer in artificial intelligence and helped invent multiple AI-powered technologies including the first CCD flat-bed-scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for blind people, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Kurzweil is the author of five national best-selling books, including the New York Times bestsellers “The Singularity Is Near” (2005) and “How To Create A Mind” (2012). He currently serves as Director of Engineering at Google, where he heads a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.
Kurzweil is a sought-after speaker with speech topics that center around the impact of artificial intelligence on industries like healthcare, the economy, and society.
5. Barbara Corcoran
Barbara Corcoran is a leader in real estate and is helping to break the glass ceiling for women in business. In 1973, Corcoran founded The Corcoran Group, a real estate brokerage firm which she started with a $1,000 loan. The Corcoran Group became the largest and best-known brand in the brokerage business. In 2001, Corcoran sold the firm for $66 million.
Corcoran is an investor in the television series “Shark Tank.” She has invested in over 80 companies that appeared in the series.
Corcoran is a motivational speaker and a frequent small business and real estate contributor on major TV networks. She is also the host of the top business podcast “Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran.”
6. Gary Vaynerchuk
After using e-commerce and digital marketing strategies to grow his father’s wine store, Wine Library, Gary Vaynerchuk was an early adopter on social media launching a sow on YouTube, giving wine reviews, tastings, and advice. Building on this success, he used similar business strategies to innovate for other brands, and launched VaynerMedia, a modern day communications agency in 2010.
An avid investor, who’s early investments include Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Uber, Gary also launched Empathy Wines, before selling the brand to Constellation Brands in 2020.
He has since expanded his network of companies to include Gallery Media Group, VaynerCommerce, Tracer, Sasha Group, and VaynerSpeakers, all under the VaynerX, where he is chairman.
You can find GaryVee on all social channels sharing his life as an entrepreneur and on his podcast, the Gary Vee Audio Experience, where he talks about all things digital media, entrepreneurship, leadership, and more.
7. Randi Zuckerberg
Randi Zuckerberg is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, creator of “Dot.,” a children’s television series and the editor-in-chief of “Dot Complicated,” a lifestyle website. Zuckerberg is also a bestselling author, having published three adult non-fiction books and two children’s picture books.
From 2004 to 2011, Zuckerberg worked at Facebook as the director of marketing development and spokesperson. During her time there she successfully spearheaded multiple marketing campaigns.
Zuckerberg’s animated children’s television show “Dot.” is about a little girl who uses technology to enhance her everyday adventures. Zuckerberg is also the founder of Sue’s Tech Kitchen, a tech-themed dining concept that educates families about STEM in a fun way.
8. Alexis Ohanian
Alexis Ohanian is the co-founder and former executive chairman of Reddit, a social news site. He is also the co-founder of the early-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital. Ohanian helped launch the travel search website Hipmunk and started the social enterprise Breadpig. Forbes dubbed him the “Mayor of the Internet.”
Ohanian’s inspiring entrepreneurial keynote topics include “Thinking Like a Startup,” “Making Something People Love,” and “Making the World Suck Less (And Still Make a Profit).”
9. Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki is a marketing innovator and currently is the Chief Evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design platform. He is an advisor, an author, and the creator of “Guy Kawasaki’s Remarkable People” podcast.
In 1983, Kawasaki started working for Apple’s Chief Evangelist. While working for Apple, Kawasaki was responsible for marketing its new Macintosh computer line, which eventually became one of the most popular computers in the world.
After his time at Apple, Kawasaki founded a Macintosh database company called ACIUS which created a product called 4th Dimension. In 1989, he founded Fog City Software, which created Emailer, an email client. He co-founded Garage Technology Ventures, a venture capital firm that has made investments in Pandora Radio and Tripwire. In 2007, he founded Truemors, a free-flow rumor mill, that sold to NowPublic. He is also a founder at Alltop, a company that aggregates RSS feeds and organizes them into topics.
10. Ben Casnocha
Casnocha first became an entrepreneur at the age of 14 when he founded Comcate, Inc., a leading e-government software company.
Casnocha co-authored the New York Times bestseller “The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age,” which has become one of the most sought-after management frameworks on how to recruit, manage, and retain entrepreneurial employees.
Entrepreneurs take on many risks to make their visions come true. These motivational entrepreneur speakers are just a few of the experts that could speak at your next event. Contact AAE today to hire a disruptive entrepreneur to speak at your event!